Excerpts from Fylde Foodbank Volunteers Coronavirus Newsletter September 2020
A message from the Chair of Trustees – Kim Cook
“Firstly a really big thank you to all those volunteers who were able and willing to step forward and run the St Annes, Kirkham and Warton warehouses during the early days of the pandemic when many of our colleagues had to step back to stay safe. Volunteers in all areas but especially in Kirkham (British Gas helped with many of the deliveries in St Annes) went the extra mile to deliver and ensure that food parcels reached those who needed them most. Everyone has been trying hard to get the message out there that Fylde Foodbank not only exists but is up and running and ready to help anyone in Food Crisis. The next few months will continue to be challenging but Fylde Foodbank has shown that it can adapt and work hard to help feed those in Fylde who need us and I’m sure we will continue to do so”.
Our opening hours at St Annes have been extended to 10.00am until 3.00pm on a Tuesday and Thursday, with hours at Kirkham centre on a Monday and Friday remaining 10.30am until 2.00pm. If demand increases at Kirkham consideration may be given to opening on a Wednesday. An On Call appointment system at Warton between 12noon and 3.00pm is also in place.
Most referral agencies unfortunately are still closed. The extension of the annex at St Annes centre is progressing well. The new storage centre at Kirkham is finished and Linda N and her volunteers are very pleased with the extra storage space. The benefit of using the URC Hall as a food collection point in St Annes was enormous. Thanks to Rev Jim Williams and his volunteers who were present every Wednesday to receive donations. The Wednesday weekly collection point closed in August as the Hall was returned to its official use.
The weekly national food donation from Tesco coming to St Annes finished in August. The weekly national food donation from Morrisons going to Kirkham continues with smaller donations, in addition Morrisons have started a “buy a bag of items for the Foodbank”. Staff at the store select items required by the foodbank and make up bags costing around £4 for customers to purchase and drop in the collection box. Required items are regularly updated. Linda N advises that this scheme is working very well. People are being very generous. Stock across both foodbank centres stands at 12.000kgs so shelves are full ready for an expected increase in demand in the run up to Christmas. Extra storage space has had to be obtained for both centres. Excess donations of short-dated stock from both centres have been given to other foodbanks in the area.
Volunteers have been asked to wear masks or face shields. No clients enter our buildings. Where possible pick lists are completed over the phone for clients at St Annes. Parcels are made up with clients given a timed slot for collection. Volunteers at Kirkham make up parcels ready for collection prior to opening at 10.30am meaning a quick turnaround for clients at both centres.
Since our last newsletter in June, 567 children and 1012 adults have been fed from our centres in this financial year April 2020 – March 2021 The next annual collection at Tesco is scheduled for 21st/22nd Nov.